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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Entrepreneurship Goes International - Nothing Can Stop It

"In 2013, 40 million smart phones were sold in India. In the first three quarters of 2014, over 70 million were sold.
Next year, it will be well over 100 million."
- - - Gary North

From the article: "Google has kicked off an expansion of the rollout of Android One, with the aim of taking the stock Android devices to most emerging markets across the Asia Pacific region.

Following its launch in India this September, the Android One program will now move to Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, adding another 200 million potential Android One users to the billion-plus in India.
Android One is Google's attempt to improve the Android experience on sub-$100 smartphones, the handsets that some analysts believe will define the future of mobility."

What does this mean for you?  It means that there is a gigantic market emerging that will want apps.  They will want ideas.  They will want games.  They will want education and access to knowledge.  Who will provide it?  Who will teach literacy or English?  Khan Academy has the math under control - but there are markets everywhere for content on the device - be it a smartphone or a computer.

This is more useful to you than much of what you get in your school today.  The foundation of taxpayer funded compulsory schooling is crumbling.  The WWW is only about 10 years old in its current form.

Get in on the ground floor.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

With Isaiah "Elite Buckets" Rhodes

Isaiah and I, with some interruptions from the phone and from the school itself (we record in a high school on our break period), discuss the NCAA, the future of the NBA draft, the changing economics of basketball - and a few other tidbits thrown in as well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Your Job, Future, and RobinHood

I get asked all the time about what to do after high school. One of the things I recommend is a long look at the technology world. Rather than just being a CONSUMER, why not be a PRODUCER of content or skill? The Asians are climbing out of poverty, especially in India, and they will soon be accessing the www. Writing apps, visiting websites, gaming, trading, getting news - the numbers of people keeps growing and the market is huge. I use the examples of and as places to learn, and an example of this as

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Podcast Interview with Isaiah “Elite Buckets” Rhodes

Today I got to two of the three questions I had for Mr. Rhodes. We spoke of the direction of sports media, in today's digital age, and the best sports books. 20 minutes of real sports talk, without the cheerleading and mindless front running.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thank You For Not Cutting Class

On a day when we had anti-violence speakers in the building - violence broke out. We have gone from zero tolerance to zero intolerance.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Isaiah "Elite Buckets" Rhodes - Nov 24th NBA Podcast

Isaiah Rhodes, of Elite Buckets and I discuss the Derrick Rose media storm, the idea of Who is Next? with regard to the post LeBron era - with a smattering of classic sports knowledge and philosophy. Regular people, regular talk - all GOOD.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sports Podcast with Isaiah "Elite Buckets" Rhodes

In our first podcast, Isaiah and I discuss NBA drafting practices of late, coaching and philosophy.
Isaiah's "Elite Buckets" wordpress site:

Calling The Shots - Earl Strom - Book Review

One of the unspoken secrets in the sports book world is that the referee / umpire books are usually really good.  My own theory, for which I have no basis other than the books themselves, is that the arbiters of the game weren't coddled since childhood and thusly have to actually learn English and communication skills.  Earl Strom's book Calling the Shots, My Five Decades in the NBA, is one of those hidden gems that has flown under the radar for 25 years.

Earl Strom, while he was active, was seen as the best referee in the NBA.  He was seen by players and coaches as the referee who would make the right call, no matter the venue.  This gave him the reputation as an 'away' ref because he wouldn't cop out at the end of games and make the hometown call.

Calling the Shots give the reader a history lesson of the NBA that is unparalleled in its uniqueness.  Hearing about the St. Louis Hawks and the Buffalo Braves and the Syracuse Nats - what their fans were like and what the arenas were like - is something that you'll not find through modern channels.  Strom gives you a walk through of the early days of the league, through the supernova growth of the 80's.  Listening to the referee's perspective is different enough, but Strom, who called his first NBA game in 1957, lets you visualize how different and third rate the early basketball was.  The arenas were small and smoky, the fans were on top of the players and refs, fights were everywhere, and you never knew what would happen on any given night.  There was no glitz, no agents, no marketing to speak of, and little money for anyone.

Strom took a detour in the ABA (American Basketball Association) in the 1970's.  The red white and blue ball league was the wild west, but it also birthed Moses Malone, George Gervin and Julius Erving.  Strom was there.  He saw all of these guys play up close.  Because he was a chatty fellow, his dialogues with these people are were numerous and worth preserving.  Strom, who was all about honesty and making the correct call, was almost driven out of the NBA when he came back from the ABA and its dollars.  Because he was rabidly independent, and constantly spoke his mind about the game and the state of refereeing, he made enemies in the NBA and ref hierarchy.  It is these same qualities that make this book worthwhile, even after all of these years.  Strom ends the book with ways to improve the game and the refereeing systems.  Even after 25 years, they still ring true.  Perhaps the oddball loudmouth - which some would say is a kind way to describe Strom, should've been listened to back then because his reforms would work today.  This is a high level sports book, devoid of jargon and cliche.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sports - G. Stanton $325million and D. Rose at 50

Derrick Rose injures his hamstring and sits out.  This is not a big deal.  He is coming off of two wasted seasons due to knee injuries, and being cautious makes sense.  What he said about it doesn't make sense: "I know a lot of people get mad when they see me sit out or whatever,”Rose said Tuesday. “But I think a lot of people don’t understand that … when I sit out it’s not because of this year.

“I’m thinking about long term. I’m thinking about after I’m done with basketball. Having graduations to go to, having meetings to go to, I don’t want to be in my meetings all sore or be at my son’s graduation all sore just because of something I did in the past. [I’m] just learning and being smart

There's more - he clarified his comments: “I was just worrying about myself. “Just worrying about my future, like every player in the league does. I probably just think different. It’s only my seventh year, but I think further on into my career, further on into my life. Just trying to plan things out. I think people took it out of context. It is what it is, but I was being myself, and that’s all I can be.”

These are the comments I discuss below.  They are unforgivable. It isn't just that Rose makes $18 million a year.  That's fine.  Unlike many, I respect his ability to get paid for his dedication and talent, and the market will pay that.  But what about the fan who takes his son to the game to see him play?  Why does that guy always seem to lose in these equations?

Perhaps Grantland has jumped the shark. Here's a distressing bit of apologia: "This is where it gets complicated, though. Even if the reactions to Hinkie (Sixers GM) and Rose are predictable, can you really blame either one of them? If two years of rehabbing triggered some fear of a forever-injured future, I can’t get that upset with Rose for doing his best to avoid it. His explanations are clumsy and tone-deaf, but he’s not even hurting the Bulls’ title chances. Resting now is smart, because having him available and comfortable five months from now is more important. As Joakim Noah said after Thursday’s game, everyone needs to chill the **** out."

"Complicated" is code for "journalist who wants to be 'down' and so he'll never criticize a player."  How can you translate Rose's comments (and Noah's for that matter -- uuuggghh) for anything except what they are - the comments of stars who care little for the average fan.  I understand them however.  No matter what they say or do, the fans keep coming.  The only recourse the fan has is to stop paying huge money to attend or pay for pro sports on TV.  Mike Francesa is the only major host to reiterate this point, and he's right.  Therefore, said behavior will continue.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Medical Questions

The Ebola! Crisis has sent the independent media and free thinking community into high gear.  The CDC and other governmental agencies have been pushed into the forefront.  Possibly the best thing one can say about the CDC is that it is incompetent.  The alliance between the MSM and the CDC is particularly nauseous - as seen here.  What eventually happens among people who connect dots and recognize patters (a distressingly small percentage unfortunately) is that the focus then goes on to the governmental agencies tasked with keeping Americans safe.

Lately the vaccine debate has heated up again because of the health news in the forefront.  I used to believe all the standard boilerplate information on vaccines.  I had heard of the anti-vaccination group and their arguments, but I never took them seriously.  Those days are over.  Brian Hooker, a PhD holding biochemist, with skin in the game (his son has Autism), Dr. William Thompson, who works for the CDC, and a few others have come out saying that the CDC has doctored the data with regard to vaccines and bad health effects that are, statistically, caused by them.  I am at the stage where I am taking seriously the arguments put forth by these people.  They have a case.

For example:
  • There are 25 micrograms of mercury in flu shot for women.  Proportionally those women should weigh 500 pounds.  A mercury free shot has been untested, and you are turning yourself into a guinea pig.
  • There  has been a link found that directly links the MMR vaccine to autism in young black males.
  • There are over 150 medically peer reviewed papers recounting the dangers of Thimerosal.  There are 14 that say it is safe.
  • Remember during the WBush administration how people were ANGRY about the revolving door between corporations and government agencies?  Julie Gerberding was the head of the CDC.  Do you know what she does now?  She’s the head of the Vaccines division of Merck.
  • The type of rhetoric used to attack the people who simply question the established narrative with regard to the CDC and vaccines is a dead giveaway.  Hooker has consistently asked that his work get looked over, and then debated.  No.  He is called a member of the "Mercury Militia", an "Anti Vaxxer" and other ad hominem attacks.  This is an automatic sign that an establishment faction is hiding something or angry or afraid.  
For more information that you won't find on the Establishment Grid:

For the whistleblower from the CDC:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ebola - part 2 - an update

You may have noticed, if you're a free thinking person, that the EBOLA CRISIS! is subsiding somewhat.  It was front page news, commandeering all of the Mainstream Corporate Media for a good 3 months or so.  It was getting to the point that for a while there, even someone like me was starting to wonder if there was anything to the story.  It turns out that my initial suspicions were correct.  EBOLA has gone the way of SARS, Swine Flu, Avian Bird Flu, Anthrax and whichever other "medical crisis that shall not go to waste" I've forgotten.

My buddy in Harlem, a conspiracy theorist from the old school, put me on to Michael Rappaport's explanation of the Ebola crisis.  I (and possibly you too by now) understand the idea to always keep the Herd nervous.  Fear is a great way to control the masses.  This is old news.  But what Rappaport is able to do, better than anyone else I've heard, is explain who wins.  There is always a faction that wins out, that makes money, that gets legislation placed in its favor.  The CDC is the tip of the iceberg, and Rappaport is able to pinpoint the rationale behind the Medical Elite and the Social Control aspect.  His explanations are very good.

Listen to him here on Red Ice Radio - the outfit that got banned from iTunes for telling too much truth. “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”- Voltaire


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why I don't, won't, and didn't - vote

There are real reasons not to vote.
Philosophically, I don't believe that government is anything but force.  It is someone's opinion with a gun or a jail cell waiting for you if you don't comply.  You can sugar coat it any way you wish, but nothing can refute that fact.  If you refuse to follow government laws, you go to jail or get fined.  There are no exceptions, and no matter how noble the intent of the law, if the end game is a fine or a cell for you - that is force.
Practically, what are you voting for?  A person in a suit who will make laws for you to follow?  They're just people - no different from you or me.  Why do they get make the laws, but not follow them?  Please don't be naive - you know what I'm talking about.  Enough is enough - and how many laws are enough?  Do you know that you can't buy a car in Minnesota on Sundays?  That you need a license in many states to arrange flowers?  In NY you need a license to braid hair.  Really?  This is what you want for your children - someone dictating the rules for your existence, economic and otherwise?  Stop believing the 5th grade Civics Class platitudes - we're older now.
The parties?  Please explain the difference between the two.  Start with some tangible difference between the two administrations that were supposedly the polar opposites - the WBush administration and the Obama administration.  10 points per point.  Any takers?  I didn't think so.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

School Options

Here is a short talk about WHY people are opting out of schools, particularly the bad ones. WHERE some of them go and WHAT they choose to study and HOW they study it.

Friday, October 24, 2014

3 Podcast Recommendations and 2 Books

Here I recommend three podcasts I've been listening to recently.  They are:
The Unexplained with Howard Hughes.
The Higherside Chats.
Occult Science Radio.

The two books I've read and recommend highly, particularly the King memoir:
On Writing, by Stephen King.
The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola - Another 'Serious Crisis' That We Should Not Let Go To Waste

When you see the Mainstream Media flogging a crisis like the latest - Ebola - you should soon start to see patterns and inconsistencies.  The Government Media Complex works very hard at Herd Redirection, something that before the internet must have been much easier.  The Ebola 'crisis' is confusing.  Does the government 'care' about making people better, curing the sick?  Then why do over a million people die from Malaria each year?  Why do more Americans die of the flu each year than have died from Ebola during its entire history?  Where is the crisis mode attack and howling in the MSM over these things?  Now that I think about it, around 100,000 people die each year from prescription drug use - that number only includes those using the drugs correctly under a doctor's supervision.  Where is the high pitched high volume media panic?

Politically, here are the W Bush-esque moves that the latest "different" administration had done.  These will be explained away and justified only by True Believers.  Think "The Church of Salvation Through Legislation - first pew".

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Early 90's Dave Matthews Band and the 10,000 Hour Rule

In one of the more unpredictable posts, I match the early 1990's music I'm listening to from the Dave Matthews Band (courtesy of DMBlive) and the 10,000 hour rule talked about by Malcolm Gladwell.  I'm a big fan of DMB, and getting recordings from 1992 and 1993 from this wonderful group of musicians is fantastic.  The music is great, the original lineup works wonders (Peter Griesar, the original keyboard player who quit in March 1993 is included) and one can see how good these guys were early when they were unknown and playing small gigs locally.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

No Man Knows My History - Book Review

No Man Knows My History - the life of Joseph Smith, provides a detailed, interesting and yes, entertaining picture of the life of the founder of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith.  I don't fully understand why I am fascinated by the story of the origins of the Mormon Church. Perhaps it is my love of conspiracies, esoteric knowledge and independent thinking.   Reading John Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven got me started.  Like most Americans, I had heard of the the Mormon church, I knew about the polygamy of the old days of the church, and knew it was vaguely connected with Christianity.  I did not know initially about the tight connection to Freemasonry.  Like everything we learn in our adult years, the truth is much more complicated and interesting.  Fawn Brodie provides a wondrous explanation of what happened at the very beginning.  No Man… also sends the reader back to these days as if one were  in a time warp.

The details of Smith's early life in the Burnt Over District in New York State sets up both a base for who Smith became and a detailed portrait of that era.  The difficult life presented explains clearly how it was easy to be hungry, tired, cold and impoverished.  Smith's insatiable desire to avoid hard work, to get wealthy by sticking rods into the ground to locate buried treasure via a peep-stone, fortune telling, and mooching off of others is well documented.  Brodie took a lot of criticism from the Mormon church (she was excommunicated) for her depiction of Smith as what he document-ably was.  A feather in her cap and one of the reasons I felt compelled to buy the book.

Part of me, throughout my reading, kept asking 'why did people believe this guy?'  There are instances that are beyond credulity once Joseph Smith became the leader of somewhat sizable organization.  The discovery of the 'golden plates' and the following creation of The Book of Mormon seem impossibly ridiculous today.  (Don't go looking for the plates, the same angel that showed them to Smith spirited them back to Heaven).  Much of the book explains what Smith said and how it was received by his flock and his detractors.  Smith routinely had 'revelations', dictates from God that told him what to do and how others should behave.  Brodie explains: "In January 1841 he presented to the church a revelation from God ordering the Saints to build a hotel.  The extraordinarily mundane details of of this commandment seem not to have troubled his people" "…and they shall not receive less than fifty dollars for a share of stock in that house, and they shall be permitted to receive fifteen thousand dollars from any one man for for stock in that house.  But they shall not be permitted to receive over fifteen thousand dollars from any one man…"  No Man… is filled with this kind of thing.  That God would lay out the financial details of building a church is strange, if not blasphemous.  Was God worried about inflation - did He take into account the Jacksonian attacks on the Central Bank?  The subtly adjusted Gold Standard? Throughout much of the book I started to see a common thread:  people, even intelligent free thinking people who have gone through real struggle, will  believe anything.

I had heard of the connection between Mormonism and Masonry via my readings within the Conspiracy Community.  I was curious if Brodie would comment on the topic.  Perhaps when she wrote this book mentioning Masonry didn't get you branded a conspiracy theorist! and therefore a fringe kook, because Brodie goes into great detail the Smith's close connection to the Freemasons (he was one) and the Mormon practices and initiations that mirror the Mason's. The Mormons believe that with enough prayer, practice and patience they can become like God (hence the Latter Day Saints), and the Book of Mormon has close parallels to the stories within Freemasonry.  Joseph Smith, out of bullets and about to jump out of the Carthage jail window and be killed, reportedly flashed a Masonic symbol and pleaded for help from his 'brothers' in the crowd.

It is easy to bash the Mormon Church, and I feel I have to be careful that this review not become a polemic against the LDS Church.  Firstly, America is supposed to be a place where people can worship whatever and whomever they choose.  Shamefully, many of Smith's peers seemed to have forgotten that part and persecuted him and his followers because of their nonstandard beliefs.  Secondly, Smith, in an entrepreneurial fashion stuck with what worked and discarded what didn't in his creation and evolution of the Church.  He moved to different areas of the country and overcame seriously violent opposition.  (He was killed while he was the prisoner of a rogue prosecutor).  Lastly, Smith's life was fascinating.  His story reads like the incredible thing it was, and Brodie combines exhaustive research, multiple appendices and a free flowing writing style in order to depict it appropriately.  Despite my incredulity and disbelief, I highly recommend this book.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

They're People, Not Numbers

The continued practice of "data driven instruction"and "testing" and relentless taking for granted of students in school goes off the rails.  I explain how in this 10 minute podcast.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The 2014 - 2015 Schule Year Begins!

Here are the latest events, good and bad, in the schule at which I work. Caution: possible eye glazing boredom ahead.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Schule About to Start - The Scam Continues

Why do I use the word 'scam' so often in these posts on education?  Because there are a few issues going on lately that, if they were about sports, or engineering, or airline pilots, would be seen as corrupt scams against the public health and safety.

Philadelphia Phollies
Let's go to Philadelphia first: "It’s a repeat of every year for the Phila school district. As the school year approaches they are shocked to report a massive deficit and beg the State of PA for more funding. The $12,000 per child simply isn’t enough, even though Parochial schools provide ten times the education for $9,000 per child. The district has a slight $80 million deficit this year. Last year they had a $100 million deficit and the mayor proposed a soda tax to fill the gap. It was defeated, so they raised property taxes instead. Mayor Nutter’s name is fitting. He is just another in a long line of Democratic mayors who have ruled Philadelphia since the 1950′s and whose policies of welfare handouts for their voting base paid for by taxing the producers, has resulted in a population decline from 2.1 million in 1950 to 1.5 million today.

$12,000 per year, per child is not enough.  To use a favorite word of progressives (that's the current term, isn't it?) this is simply unsustainable.  But no matter, abject failure is OK as long as you say "I'm for the children", "it's for the children", "union" and other tired sayings that have worked since the late 1960's.  Empirical evidence and statistics don't matter.  This is a crime and the children, as always, lose.  The employees of the district don't: "For the average teacher earning $68,700 annually, benefit costs pile on an additional $44,100, meaning the average cost of employing a teacher in the system is $112,700."

If this were any other field, there would be real anger at the collapsing bridges, crashing airplanes, bad sports play - but with children in public schools - nothing.  Not in the mainstream media or political arena.

Let's Create a Problem Where There is None - NYC
There is a trendy man made 'problem' when it comes to the specialized high schools in NYC.  These schools are spectacularly successful, and they churn out literally thousands of literate, capable graduates per year.  Our Elite Government Class Overlords think that the admissions process (a merit based exam that has math, reading comprehension and logic) that has worked for decades needs to be changed.  Why?  The racial makeup of the schools doesn't fit that THEY think it should be.  This is an interesting case because the schools over the past 15 years have become predominantly Asian.

This is a problem made our of whole cloth.  There are many things wrong with the NYC public school system - these schools are not part of any problem.  It is interesting to notice how failing schools in bad neighborhoods garner little discussion, but the merit based schools are have a target on them by the Elites.  It is almost as if there is a war against merit.

I am actually having a debate on Facebook about this with people who went to Tech, as I did.  It is odd how cavalier they are about changing the requirements now that they've gone through the system.  remember, this isn't a problem.  Tech, Stuyvesant and Bx Science are success stories.  Yet, because a politician feels that the racial makeup "doesn't look like NYC", it should be changed.  This is purely illogical and self defeating.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Origins of the FED - How it Controls Money and People

The Federal Reserve is the topic you're not supposed to talk about.  The FED, the central bank of the United States, took over the country in 1913.  Does that sound like hyperbole?  Only if you are uninformed and believing only the Organs of the Establishment that promote the myth that the FED is there for the public good.

The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.” – FDR letter to Colonel Edward House, Nov. 21 1933

Was FDR a 'conspiracy theorist'?  Why did he say that?  James Corbett, of the stellar independent news site explains in this thorough documentary.

From Corbett's site: All our lives we’ve been told that economics is boring. It’s dull. It’s not worth the time it takes to understand it. And all our lives, we’ve been lied to.

War. Poverty. Revolution. They all hinge on economics. And economics all rests on one key concept: money. Money. It is the economic water in which we live our lives. We even call it ‘currency’; it flows around us, carries us in its wake. Drowns those who are not careful. We use it every day in nearly every transaction we conduct. We spend our lives working for it, worrying about it, saving it, spending it, pinching it. It defines our social status. It compromises our morals. People are willing to fight, die and kill for it.

But what is it? Where does it come from? How is it created? Who controls it? It is a remarkable fact that, given its central importance in our lives, not one person in a hundred could answer such basic questions about money as these.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How to Spot a Bad, if not Brainless, 'Argument'

Adam Carolla recently explained in an interview that he considers himself a conservative.  He talked about wanting the people getting free breakfast in school to realize the principle behind such things, that the USA was founded not on taking money from others to give to someone else, but on working for what you have and being able to keep it.

He was pretty clear on what he meant, and it wasn't that difficult to understand his premise of letting the children know that there are principles involved with daily life.

A commentator on The Young Turks took offense to this.  She 'argues' his points.  What is fascinating to watch is how she doesn't address his points on the whole, and when she does she uses snark, ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments and ignorance to refute what Mr. Carolla said.

I am not the only one to notice this.  I first noticed it during the 08 presidential campaign when Ron Paul would be maligned because of his views - not with logic and reasoning and evidence, but emotion and eye rolling.  Rachel Maddow is the queen bee of this tactic, but the woman in this video seems to be gunning for second place in this field.  Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio completely destroys this woman's 'arguments'.  I can't just type the word arguments because she doesn't make any, as Molyneaux shows you here.

It is a complete intellectual dismantling, and it should move you further away from picking a political 'side', as well as anything associated with leftism.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

David Rudisha - 100 Seconds of the Best Race Ever

Lost in the hype and the media blaze of the 2012 Olympics was the world record set in the 800m run.  The 800m run is probably the most difficult race on the track.  It is basically a half mile sprint, where for 80% of the time you are without the necessary oxygen to function.

This documentary shows how David Rudisha got to the pinnacle of the sport.  What you need to notice  is the humble surroundings.  The track is dirt.  There are no lanes.  His coach is an old Irish Catholic missionary.  It sounds like some derivative of 'Chariots of Fire' - except it is real.  Watch how the bus spews out smoke.  Watch the herding of cows and goats.  Here, in this part of the world everything is glitz and glamor - seemingly made out of plastic.  I was particularly observant of the school setting.  The desks are old, the shoes are obviously donated by charities.  The walls were dirty and the books worn.

Perhaps more people in "education" should watch this documentary - and pay particular attention to the last 3 minutes, where the coach is asked what the secret is.  Of course he says there are no secrets.  Unless, of course, work is a secret.  Here, where all we hear is "if only we had more money", that premise is blown to bits by this Kenyan and his school, who have no money.

On the track, what did Rudisha do?  Anyone with a track background will gape at the splits.  His first 400m was a 49.3, and he came back in 50.6 for a 1:40.91.

Here's the 'best race ever' statistic.  Last place in the 800m run in London in the 2012 Olympics would have WON the last 3 Olympic 800m races. 8th place ran a 1:43.77.  Think about that.

Also think about the 2 Americans who finished 4th and 5th with times of 1:42.8 and 1:42.95.  They went home without a medal. Unreal.

Here is the race itself.

Here is how it happened:

Friday, July 11, 2014

The "State Licensing" Scam is Exposed by Khan Academy

I saw this on Gary North's site, and I think he is right.  The Education Establishment will be the last bastion of the Progressive Era to fall, and the signs are already here:

"For over a century, there has been a mass illusion that has been fostered by beneficiaries of tax money. This money has gone to teachers and educators. This illusion is as follows: state certification necessary to be a good teacher.

This illusion has been basic to the creation of the teachers' union. It is this commitment to what is laughingly known as professionalism that has been the basis of legal barriers to entry. Progressive educators fostered this illusion early in the 20th century. They created a theory of education out of whole cloth, except this whole cloth was tattered cloth. There was never any scientific or any other kind of evidence that indicated that going through a teacher-training program designed by men and women on college faculties would in any way improve the education of children.

This is a classic case of people who had little or no personal experience in teaching school children, who sat down and designed a series of theories about what it takes to teach children. The theories kept changing. There were always rival theories. But they all had this in common: most of the people teaching these theories in university classrooms had never had personal experience or success in teaching school children.

This is the classic example of how universities work. People who teach in MBA programs have never owned businesses. People who teach psychology have never worked as full-time psychologists. Professors get themselves licensed by their own group, few of whom have had any experience in the free market, where profit and loss determine who survives and who fails. Then, having created a state-mandated barrier to entry, they earn above-market wages paid by taxpayers. This starts at the university level, and then it moves down to the very lowest levels of the educational system.

It is all a farce."

Salman Khan has singlehandedly shown that the establishment opinion, the approved opinion, the opinion that you're supposed to have - is wrong.  Khan has no teaching credentials.  He never took one of those idiotic state exams that certifies you as a 'qualified' public school teacher.  Yet, he has 10 million students.  This in your face dismantling and refutation of the educational process spells the end of the system.  I'm guessing it will be within 10 years that what we see today will be unrecognizable.  It is already starting.  You can see it here:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Public vs. Private

I discuss here why my public school world is disgusting and physically unkempt, whereas my private sector summer job is immaculate and spectacularly clean. The idea that employers and employees have some 'skin in the game' and can be fired has a lot to do with the difference in attitude and cleanliness among within the institutions.

Naturally, this is an unsanctioned opinion.  Ask your teacher about the glories of the Public Sector - he may even say that the public sector is necessary and that the private sector is greedy and rapacious.  You shouldn't tolerate that level of ignorance from your instructor - it is the private sector that funds the public sector. My take here is that in the private sector people generally act normal - in the public sector they act like slobs, because they can.

You may be wondering why the mountains of evidence never alter the opinions of the adults in your life.  It is because they have no principles.  Unfortunately, I've found that adults who identify with the 'left' are impervious to fact.  They acknowledge nothing.  The public sector vs. private sector debate is one of those instances.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sports and Stories - How it's Done - Simmons and Michaels

Sports can be a colossal waste of time.  Of all the things to spend time on, sports are high on the list of premiere time wasters.  Once I started to think more independently (embarrassingly late in life), I pretty much ignored the sports world as I saw it for what it was: entertaining nothingness for the masses.  Material for the Sheeple to get worked up over and then argue with each other rather than think about and discuss REAL things.

Well, I still like sports.  I really can't escape the lure.  No, I don't watch every Yankee game like I used to in the mid to late 1980's.  (Alvaro Espinosa was an underrated shortstop if you must know).  Watching the Spurs win the NBA title this year was wonderful. They play a great brand of basketball, there is a lot of ball movement, everyone can shoot and move, the team has an obvious plan and no ego.  In MLB, I think you're foolish if you don't watch Clayton Kershaw pitch at least once, and you should watch Mike Trout play outfield for the Angels.

The sports reference sites are good to get your stats.  I'm a stats person of the old school and I can't imagine what my HS years would have been like if I'd had a site like this.  I had to read the stats on the page in the baseball encyclopedia or in Total Baseball.  I probably would have failed out of high school - I would have been on stats overload.  The other site I go to for sports is  Except for the liberal slant when it comes to anything not sports related (the pop culture is a waste of time as were the comments on the Donald Sterling Afffair), Grantland is an information rich and entertaining place.

The podcasts are well done.  What made me do this post is the podcast with Al Michaels and Bill Simmons.  This will show you how sports can still be worth your time.  Al Michaels has been an announcer for a long time - notice the Old Man Shorts.  Simmons is a Serious Fan with an eye for detail, a great memory, and an entertaining writing style.  Simmons does the smart thing.  The entire last 2/3 of this interview is Simmons simply asking Michaels if he as a story about (fill in the name of a sports star).  He lets Al Michaels talk, and the stories are funny, interesting and entertaining.  Michaels gives you the inside stuff without being salacious.   It is good storytelling in the world of sports, and I have to admit - I still enjoy it immensely.  I think you'll enjoy listening to this, especially if you're a sports fan:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Martenson's Updated Crash Course - A Great Learning Experience

There were a few things that completely changed my worldview for the better.  These things made me think rationally, clearly, independently and thoroughly.  The writings of Theodore Dalrymple and John Taylor Gatto, the campaigns of Ron Paul, the 'Peter Schiff was Right' youtube videos and the works of Gary North and Tom Woods are some of the main sources from what was a serious philosophical change for me from 2005 - 2011.

A video series that put together the absurdity and danger of our monetary system and the FED was called "The Crash Course" by Chris Martenson.  It provided a visual link to the things that are never discussed in mainstream circles, and certainly never in school.  I had never had such things explained to me as a young person. The Crash Course opened my eyes instantly.  I think I watched the whole thing twice upon discovering it.

Martenson's premise is simple: the next 20 years will be nothing like the last 20 years.  He focuses on the E's: Economy, Education, Energy and Environment.  Recently he released a condensed and updated version of The Crash Course.  It will probably me more informative and useful to you than any social studies, civics or economics class you'll have in school.  It certainly contains more information and depth than your teacher, who thinks that 'Obama will take care of things' or 'once the Republicans get back in charge things will be better'.  People who still think that way should be taught how to escape that limited mindset.  The first thing to show them is this quote by Zora Neale Hurston: “Anybody depending on somebody else's gods is depending on a fox not to eat chickens.”  The second step is to watch the updated Crash Course:

Friday, June 20, 2014

3 Years In A Downward Spiral In School

As the school year is now just about over, I reflect on the unusually large academic and social gap between the current juniors and this year's freshmen.  Two years ago, with the students who are now in 11th grade, I was able to cover all of the literature I planned, as well as quite a bit of secondary material in history, politics and economics.  I remember that we often got off track, and I had to make the conversation go back toward the literature that was originally intended.

What prompted this podcast was my discussion with one of my former students who just finished her freshman year in college.  I was reminded that, with less time, we did more material with more in depth analysis.

The causes?  Ridiculous and meaningless high stakes testing (euphemistically called 'assessments') is one of the causes.  A major cause is the current students have much less desire to learn.  They are more used to being spoon-fed every thing.  I had more discipline issues than ever before these last two years. If things continue to devolve, I'll request 10th grade for the 2015 - 2016 school year.  I'm sad to make that statement because I have chosen to work with 9th graders for the past 8 years because they are younger, fresher and more eager.  Unfortunately, this seems to be changing.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

We Have Come Full Conspiracy Circle

My high school students here on this site and in the flesh have long known that I abhor the Mainstream Media, that I see it as little more than a constant and clumsy propaganda machine for the State and its actors.  There isn't much need for me to 'prove' this point any longer.  Newsweek, and its cover article by Kurt Eichenwald, has proven my point for me.

In the article, you will read about how people who believe in conspiracy theories are a clear and present danger.  They focus on people who don't want to vaccinate their children, the 9/11 'truth' movement, people who have exposed the UN's Agenda 21, and the people who dislike Common Core.

Let's look closely at two of these points.  First, the Common Core should be opposed, and it isn't just 'conspiracy theorists' who oppose it.  The woman who was the only academic on the panel for English (and didn't sign off on the standards) now tours the country speaking out against the standards.  You can watch her here.  The only Math Professor on the panel, who also did not approve of the standards, speaks out against the total inadequacy of the standards.  You can watch him here.  Are these people trying to destroy America?  According to Eichenwald and Newsweek, the answer is yes.

Secondly, the article looks at the 9/11 Truth movement as one of the 'Plots to Destroy America'.  This is an interesting one.  During the W. Bush administration, the Truth movement was acceptable, trendy, and totally acceptable.  It's funny, but the only place you really saw these people made fun of was on Fox News, the network whose job it is in the Fake Left v. Right Debate to make 'Democrats' look bad. Now that the head  and party of the regime have changed, the 'Truthers' are fair game.  I miss the days when Progressive Heroes like Van Jones and much of Hollywood were part of the movement.  Eichenwald, of course, ignores this.  Jones, by the way, when his association with the movement was going to cost him personally, asked to have his name removed from the petition.  The guy changed his mind.  Was he a threat and now he's not?  Are these people trying to destroy America?

This puff piece is an example, although a poor one, of attempt to control the narrative.  Of course, citizen, you will listen only to the Establishment Narrative, and anything not on that 3x5 card of Acceptable Opinion is a 'conspiracy' and is therefore a 'threat'.  Eichenwald should be ashamed.  The article lacks any depth, and basically says, 'look, these people are silly and weird, and these conspiracies are stupid'.  This is considered reporting.  On top of this, Eichenwald uses the Southern Poverty Law Center as a source.  This is an organization that is sitting on a $190 million dollar war chest and not only is tax exempt, but hides money in the Cayman Islands!

Not only that, but notice how it is the conspiracy theorist and their theories that are a problem.  Not the NSA spying, the PATRIOT Act (renewed and strengthened by this administration), NDAA, endless warfare, endless welfare, the FED and the large banks and corporations rapaciously running the planet. No, it is the people who disagree with the Official Story, they are the threat.

I am constantly amazed that the Elite expect us, the Herd,  the Masses, to read this material and just accept it at face value.  It is as if they operate as if there is no internet, no movement of information. This article is just one sad example of the death of mainstream media - and now you can see why I will be glad when the whole operation disappears.

By the way, here is the cover of Eichenwald's best book.  It's a good one, but pay particular attention to the title.  Remember, according to Eichenwald, conspiracies are just silly and stupid: 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Charles Hugh Smith: The Nearly Free University

“G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. ... We found that they don’t predict anything.” - - Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies

The post secondary education system cannot last.  I have read about this on Gary North's site, and he has written a book review about Charles Hugh Smith's The Nearly Free University.  You can read the introduction to Smith's book here.

Why can't the current system continue?  Because of cost.  In the old days, the college degree was a weeding out process - employers would use it as a way to avoid low IQ workers and they'd know that the person could at least start a task, finish it, and deal with boredom.  Now, with 'everyone' getting (or deserving if you subscribe to Current Progressive Thought) a college degree, that vetting process doesn't work. 

In the interview below, these topics and others are brought up.  If you're getting a degree in something, why are you paying huge dollars to pay the Assistant Dean of Supervision, or some other useless bureacratic sinecure $150,000 a year?  For what?  How does that person help you get your degree?  What is he teaching you?

Many people I work with, and students of mine seem to think I am against college.  This is not true.  I am against going broke - hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt for a degree that you can't use for anything.  Americans as a whole now owe more money for student loans than they do for their credit cards.  This from a population that has been conditioned in a Pavlovian manner to SPEND when things get tough, or any other reason for that matter.  You should count the cost, and analyze the benefits and job market you'll get after you get your degree.

College tuition is way out of line in terms of cost, and Charles Hugh Smith has some good ideas as to avoiding it and becoming successfully educated.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

$227 Million Doesn't Buy What It Used To

Something of a rant here, but any high school student (the people for whom this site is engineered) will instantly recognize what is going on.  Especially students from in the schools on the wrong side of the tracks, the bad part of town.

Our school budget passed the last week.  When I started, the school budget was out of control - topping out at around $160 million.  People where aghast at that figure.  That was 12 years ago.  Now the budget is $227 million dollars. This is for a school district with a poor academic record, crumbling infrastructure and, in my case, a repair - free zone.

I go into more detail in the podcast, but I have had no heat, no air conditioning, a broken smart-board (since early March), missing blinds and a bell that barely makes any noise.  Where there once was a clock is an unsightly hole, and rickety chairs and profanity laden desks populate the room.

Naturally, criticizing public education gets you yelled at - the ad hominem attacks come quickly at rapid fire pace, but you should expect that by now.  The Gov't schools are 'good', and their defenders vouch for them, facts be damned.  Naturally these are the same people who have the perfect fix for the schools: more money.  The irony is off the charts, but it allows them to participate in that most comfortable activity, hand wringing.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

High Stakes Testing Gone Crazy

The latest 'trend' (they're all trends, no one seems interested in fixing real problems) in education is "raising the standards" and measuring performance with "data driven instruction".

What that means is that my students, and most public high school students, are buried under at least 3x more exams than normally exist during a school year.  Today we had the year end 'summative' exam.  This test, which didn't reflect the material from the year, nor much of anything, will be measured against the exam results from the Fall exam.  Here's the problem: the conditions of the exam are totally different, the weather was hot today, my students were all kinds of tired and intellectually checked out.  Never one to excuse student malfeasance and laziness, I was however sympathetic to what they were feeling.  Young people still have a functional BS radar - unlike many adults.  They knew they were being turned into guinea pigs in a lab, and they hated it.

This exam, the iReady exam, the SLO exam and the other Common Core time wasters are now becoming the norm.  Who gains?  Not the students.  They realize that they are not the beneficiaries of any of this kabuki dance - you should realize this too.  The education corporations are making a killing off of this, mainly through consulting fees, but also in exam generation, both paper and digital forms.

Here's my take on this awful trend:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Best Creator Driven Comic Book Runs

I have mentioned to students over the years how I was a comic book reader in my youth.  I've always stressed reading anything to my students - I am quick to mention that I read comic books and Sports Illustrated maniacally as a young person.  What I noticed starting around the age of 13 was that I became more interested in who was writing and drawing the comics than the characters themselves.  If John Byrne left Alpha Flight and went to write and draw the Hulk - I went with him, even though I didn't collect the Hulk regularly.

These runs are what I feel are the best long term tenures on various books.  They are by the creators / artists I feel created the best work and stayed on to come up with a timeless body of work that will be a standard bearer for future artists and writers.  I limit the list to post 1980, simply because that is the era where I am an expert.  I realize there are others that should be on the list, but I was a Marvel / DC person for most of those years, so something like Dave Sim's Cerebus is not on the list, as I read one issue of it as a young person and didn't like it too much.  Maybe I missed out on something but I can't comment on it with any authority.

The list:
  • John Byrne on Fantastic Four
  • Frank Miller on Daredevil
  • Alan Moore on Swamp Thing
  • Marv Wolfman and George Perez on The New Teen Titans
  • Walt Simonson on Thor
  • Chris Claremont on The Uncanny X-Men
  • Peter David on Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider Man

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Donald Sterling Affair

What has turned into a mainstream media freak show is best summed up by Kareem Abdul Jabbar in an editoral at Time called "Welcome to the Finger Wagging Olympics".  He puts things in perspective, as the MSM is still up to its usual tricks, trying to create a 'narrative' and pit regular people against each other on racial grounds.  Abdul Jabbar calls BS on this instance, noting that Sterling has been a bigot for a long time.  So why begin the most favorite of American Media activities, hand wringing, now?  And what about the leaked recording?  Abdul Jabbar's take:

"And now the poor guy’s girlfriend (undoubtedly ex-girlfriend now) is on tape cajoling him into revealing his racism. Man, what a winding road she led him down to get all of that out. She was like a sexy nanny playing “pin the fried chicken on the Sambo.” She blindfolded him and spun him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites that had the news media peeing themselves with glee.

They caught big game on a slow news day, so they put his head on a pike, dubbed him Lord of the Flies, and danced around him whooping.

Shouldn’t we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way? Although the impact is similar to Mitt Romney’s comments that were secretly taped, the difference is that Romney was giving a public speech. The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it."

Jabbar is right - here is my take on the whole affair.  Of course, the most disappointing part of the whole thing is watching the MSM tell Americans who to be angry at, when, and why.  Where has everybody been?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men - Book Review

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, a professor of history and economics at Golden Gate University in San Francisco has done every American High School student a service.  Hummel presents the history of the American Civil War in a readable manner, while taking on not just the major conflicts, but the economic aspects of the war as well.

The American student gets a raw deal from 'school' history on the Civil War.  Hummel uses short chapters and readable prose to allow access to difficult concepts about the Civil War.  Hummel covers the ideological and economic rifts over slavery.  The varying camps within the abolitionist movement as well as the numbers and viability of southern slavery are both handled skillfully.  Did you know that 25% of southern whites owned slaves, and half of that number owned 5 slaves or more?  I don't know what you were taught, but the garden variety American history class teaches that all southern whites were slaveowners, and it was Lincoln and the Civil War that ended slavery.  The political power of the south was cobbled together and held by the large plantation owners, but the majority of the population of the South did not own a single slave.

As you read through Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men, you learn that much of what we are told about the Civil War is wrong - from both sides.  The northern apologists worship Lincoln and his actions, while the Southern Apologists cavalierly dismiss the role of slavery leading up to the war.  What Hummel craftily manages to do is find the answer to this difficult question: If there had been no Civil War, would slavery have eventually ended peacefully, as it did in every other western hemisphere country except Haiti?

The only way to answer that is to analyze the economic, political and social effects of slavery before the war.  Hummel invites the reader to skip the 2 chapters he dedicates to the economics of slavery (Was slavery profitable? How did it affect trade?  How did the economy of a slaveholding society compare to a free one?).  I, however, found these chapters the most interesting in the book.  Slavery was not an economic boon to really anyone except the large plantations, and they controlled Southern government.  Working whites hated slavery as it made their quest for work and salary demands more difficult.  How do you compete against free labor?  There were also slaveowners who barely monitored their slaves and allowed them to work and manage enterprises.  There were also the cruel and vicious slaveowners - how did these two types coexist economically?  Why were there differences?

After reading Hummel's book you'll have a much better picture of the United States before and after the Civil War.  You will learn that it was ironically the first strike against widespread freedom, as the explosion of federal power began and has never been checked since.  The federal government was 2% of the US economy before the war, and 25% of it afterward.  Realizing that government makes no money and creates nothing, you begin to see the beginning of the huge drag it has been on the American people.  This began before the war, with the Fugitive Slave Act.  The Federal Government passed the costs of capturing runaway slaves to the Northern states.  There were many abolitionists who were happy to see the South secede and be done with - this was unknown to me beforehand.

You will also see the horror show that was the Lincoln administration.  The forced jailing of dissenters, the stifling of free speech, the suspension of habeus corpus - I will never see the Lincoln administration the same way again.  Hummel shows just how arrogant and fascist Lincoln was - not the usual take on an area of history that has been captured by the Cult of Lincoln.

I highly recommend the book.  The bibliographical essays at the end of each chapter show the depth of research the book contains.  They are somewhat complex, so if you are a high school student and you want an honest look at a complex area of history, skip the essays.  The short, easily readable chapters will clear up the inconsistencies you've been presented when it comes to this era.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

On NCAA Unionization

NCAA athletes have been granted, by the National Labor Relations Board, the ability to be considered 'employees' and therefore unionize.

In High School you get taught that unionization is a good thing, no questions asked.  Not only is that not true, but this decision will have serious repercussions and tons of unexpected consequences.  Before you get into the podcast, think about this:  How will the colleges pay the football players AND the women's gymnastics team?  Title 9 demands gender equality, and you can't discriminate the dollar amount either.

What school can afford this?  This causes serious issues for the future of NCAA athletics.  This is, in my opinion, a bad thing.  I like college sports.  It could also signal the end of the NCAA, an organization that already has a HUGE legal problem on its hands.  This is, in my opinion, a good thing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Michael Lewis And The Mainstream - 5 Years Behind The News.

Two things:
1) I enjoy Michael Lewis' work a lot.   Liar's Poker and The Big Short are two exciting and fascinating books to read about modern finance.  "Exciting" isn't a word used too often with financial journalism, but Lewis manages to make these topics read like novels.
2) I forgot to mention the SEC in the podcast.  This latest scandal will have many crying "we need more government regulation!!!"  Well, where was the SEC?  Not just that, where were the other 110 entities that are assigned to regulate the financial markets?  You'll feel like a fool when you read about the SEC in Lewis' latest book.  As usual, gov't isn't the answer, but your teacher will tell you otherwise.

This podcast is about the 5 year lag in between High Frequency Trading being mentioned on a 'blog' and the Mainstream catching on to the scam and the fraud.  Michael Lewis' new book, Flash Boys is now out, it is very good, and very late.  HFT algorithms have been scamming and skimming for years and Lewis deals with the issue with the same skill has in the past.

The focus of the talk is that the 'blog' - - now just, has been dealing with the topic literally for 5 years.  As a high school student, your dinosaur of a teacher keeps telling you that blogs are useless, that they are just regular people who don't know anything, unlike the 'experts' in the Mainstream Media.

Lesson: Analyze the blogs you read carefully, and look for reason and evidence to assign value to the site - NOT the name of the corporation at the top of the page.  Here is the page from April 10th, 2009 from ZH that exposed HFT.  It has been doing it ever since.  It is where I learned of the practice, and I adjusted my investing habits accordingly.  It was a blog, and it was so far ahead of the curve it isn't even funny.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

"The Most Dangerous Game" in 7 minutes

Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" in 7 minutes - I've read and analyzed it so you don't have to.  This will suffice if you haven't read the story and you need to look good in class, or if you need to do a passable essay OR get a decent grade.  As always I recommend reading the story in its entirety.

Read the story here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why School Has Devolved, Not Evolved

This podcast is the result of a few conversations, and an idea that I read about in Bill James' Historical Baseball Abstract.  James brought up the speed (or lack thereof) of baseball games and how it became that way.  The umpires of the old days were moved along by the setting of the sun.  Those umpires trained a generation of umps who continued the tradition - but as night baseball became ubiquitous the need to 'move the game along' vanished.  Now you have long, boring interminable baseball games.

School teachers are a reflection of the same phenomenon.  The teachers who started teaching in the 50's and 60's learned their craft in a difficult, non unionized, non tenured environment.  The harsh conditions created determined, capable, smart and dedicated teachers.  If you weren't a teacher with those qualities you were fired.  Those teachers trained the next generation of teachers - and the idea of being held accountable.  As unionization, tenure and collectivism infiltrated and then took over the teaching profession, the teacher trainers and the teachers themselves now no longer need to create a great product.  Their jobs don't rely upon results or quality.  Now you have long, boring, interminable classes.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mind Control in American Politics

This post is coincidental because of the previous podcast on independent thinking.  James Corbett, the webmaster of Corbettreport, has produced a video on a similar topic.  Corbett tackles the false right / left paradigm that has saddled independent and critical thought - particularly in the political arena.  His angle is a good one; with only two sides of a story or an issue possible, there is little to no real debate, and the polarizing nature of people to fight for their 'team' takes over.  This stifles critical thought.

You see this in school with your high school teachers, and you'll see even more at the University level. These instructors will fight for their side (usually the 'democrat' side in academia), even when the actions are the same as the previously different side.  We're seeing this now during the Obama administration - no difference, but the teams are still squabbling.

Corbett goes a step further by bringing up the work of Carroll Quigley, Bill Clinton's mentor, and his work on how the 'sides' are a sham and have been co-opted for years by the Establishment.  This has created a mass of humanity that does nothing different politically than what Yankee and Red Sox fans have done for 100 years - argue about how the other team sucks.

Break free from this nonsense.

I saw this post on the LRC blog, courtesy of Charles Burris.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How I Learned How To Think For Myself - An Odyssey

How I became someone who is:

  1. able to think for himself
  2. a self described libertarian
  3. able to critically and logically analyze
  4. not part of the artificial "debates" in society
Some of the sites events mentioned in the podcast:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

College Entrance Exam - SAT English Sections Explained

The Verbal sections of the SAT - the writing and the reading sections given a detailed overview by me.  General strategy and format laid out for you in under 20 minutes.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

ACT English and Reading Introduction

ACT English and Reading Introduction

Time: The exam will take just under 3 hours.

Rationale – what the test writers expect you to be able to do and will test you on the following: “Solve problems, draw conclusions, make inferences and think analytically.  “Remember, the ACT emphasizes thinking skills.”

English section (Part 1): you are the editor of 5 passages, with 15 questions each for a total of 75 questions.  You have 45 minutes to do the entire section.  Each underlined portion is the place you will ‘edit’ to see if it should be changed or left the way the passage was written.  A varied type of editorial problem is presented in each case, but they can be divided into two kinds of questions:
1.     Usage / Mechanics questions: A) Punctuation – 10 questions.  B) Grammar and usage – 12 questions.  C) Sentence structure – 18 questions.  (40 total questions).
·      For the usage / mechanics section you need to know: Conventions of standard grammatical English, basic punctuation, how to write complete and organized sentences.

1.     Rhetorical Skills questions: A) Writing strategy – 12 questions. B) Organization – 11 questions. C) Style – 12 questions. (35 total questions).
·      For the rhetorical skills questions you need to know: basic understanding of rhetoric – is it unified, organized and consistent.
ð Each of the five passages has about 325 words.  You have about 30 seconds per question – you need to get 55 questions out of the 75 correct to have a shot at your standard, garden variety University.

Reading Section: (Part 4): This section is designed to test your ability to read and understand material you’ll see on the college level.

Rationale / Format: 4 passages – 750 words each, from 4 areas.  10 questions after each passage, for 40 questions total.  This gives you 3 – 4 minutes per passage and 4 minutes for the 10 questions, which works out to about 25 seconds per question.  To answer these questions you must be able to:
ð Infer
ð Find implications
ð Identify main ideas
ð See cause and effect
ð Understand vocabulary in context
ð Recognize author intent
ð Analyze the sequence of events
ð Identify the significance of selected details
ð Separate fact from fiction
ð Evaluate the validity of ideas.

Sub score 1) Arts and Literature (Prose Fiction and Humanities passages)
Sub score 2) Social Studies / Science (Social Science and Natural Science passages)
ð Use these two sub scores to identify your trouble spots or strengths.

 Passage Types and possible topics:
ð Prose Fiction: novels and short stories.
ð Humanities: architecture, art, dance, ethics, film, language and literature, criticism, music, philosophy, radio, TV, theater.
ð Social Studies: anthropology, archeology, business, economics, education, geography, history, political science, psychology, sociology.
ð Natural Science: anatomy, astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, ecology, geology, medicine, meteorology, microbiology, natural history, psychology physics, technology, zoology.